J Dilla will never cease to amaze me. He re-worked Fourtets classic track As Serious As Your Life off of his really good album, Rounds. Heavily bogged down with work on a Sunday and stuck in a library…this is the track to excessively head nod too.
This is J Dilla’s remix with Guilty Simpson on the MC. This remix can be found on Dillanthology 2 which contains 13 remixes that Dilla did over tracks by Masta Ace, The Pharcyde, De La Soul, Mood, Busta Rhymes, and others.
Knxwledge made another tribute to the great J Dilla yesterday. Using Dilla’s classic track, Let’s Take It Back, Knxwledge flips the track perfectly in this little remix to pay tribute to one of the best that ever did it. Check out the original if you haven’t heard it yet and Knxwledge’s after that.
It’s February seventh and the birthday of the late and great James Dewitt Yancey, also known as J Dilla and Jay Dee. It is also the birthday of the late producer Nujabes, who I will post on sometime later today. J dilla died at age 32 from the disease lupus and a rare disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) which causes blood clots to form in your blood vessels. In the summer of 2005 Dilla was hospitalized in LA, he could not walk and was barely able to talk. While hospitalized, and knowing that his time left was short, Dilla began to produce his last album Donuts. Donuts was released on Stones Throw on February 7, 2006, his 32nd birthday. Dilla died three days later. His mother, Maureen Yancey (Ma Dukes), said of his death “I rejoiced in the fact that he wasn’t sick anymore, and that he’d done what he came here to do. I believe that. His purpose on earth was to come here and give us the music that he had in his heart and soul.”
The first track that I heard produced by Dilla was Fantastic 3 off of the Slum Village classic album Fantastic, Vol. 1. Slum Village consisted of rappers Baatin, T3, and producer J Dilla. The three grew up together and the album was finished in 1996 but not officially released until 2005. The rapping throughout the album is consistent but what makes Fantastic stand out is Dilla’s production. If you haven’t heard of Dilla, this is the best place to start off your journey of listening to all the music that he has produced. It is certainly a wonderful challenge.
From the trance like melodies in Fantastic 3 to the heavy hitting snare in Look of Love to the soulful clap of Players, Dilla was a genius behind the beat. Dilla was a master at finding the most unique samples and creating something beautiful. One of my favorite samples that he uses is in a track with Erykah Badu called Didn’t Cha Know. Dilla sampled Tarika Blue’s Dreamflower off of her Best of LP. I’l put it at the bottom of this post along with a tribute medley for Dilla made by one of my favorites, Knxwledge.
Knxwledge tribute to Dilla. He says this in his typical cryptic writing
Six years ago, James Yancey was born in Detroit, Michigan. On February 10, 2006, James Yancey died in Los Angeles, California. In the years in between, the man known as J Dilla became one of the most acclaimed producers in hip hop history. It’s difficult to say much about Dilla that hasn’t been said. His life has been analyzed from every imaginable angle. The dispute over his estate has been discussed to nauseating end. His beat tapes are as popular in smoky freestyle sessions as they were in 2005. Luckily for us, the folks over at 92BPM have given us a part of Dilla that could have easily been lost to history. Earlier today, they uploaded an interview Dilla gave on Gilles Peterson’s World Wide BBC show in 2001. Dilla dishes on Welcome 2 Detroit and several other topics. Beyond the subject matter, it’s incredible just to here Yancey’s voice. Rest In Power.
In 2011, “swag” was defined by a number of artists, crews and labels, from A$AP Rocky to Kreayshawn, but no one artist embodied the undeniable cool and youthful exuberance the term entails more than 23 year-old Montreal beatsmith Lunice Fermin Pierre II. Like so many other artists that have built large internet fan bases, Lunice first gained notoriety through a video highlighting not his music, but his pop-lockin’ ability. While Lunice has been making beats since 2006, it was not until recently that his glitchy, turn’t-up production style really began to develop. Citing influences ranging from the French tastemakers at Ed Banger to Detroit legend J Dilla, Lunice’s two most recent releases, the Stacker Uppa and One Hunned EP’s, both released by the legendary LuckyMe collective, have pushed the young Montréalaise into the upper-echelon of up-and-coming producers.
Lunice’s roots are in Southern hip hop, and more recently “based” hip hop, but his latest releases take more from British maximalists Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, both members of LuckyMe. Glasgow and Atlanta are thousands of miles apart, in both distance and culturally, but Lunice has effortlessly melded the two, as can be seen in his LAZERmix series. Whereas Stacker Uppa strives for grandiose maximalism, One Hunned and several recent remixes with Diplo (released on Mad Decent) highlight a more introspective side of his music. Alongside Diplo, Lunice has remixed Julianna Barwick and Deerhunter into glitchy, indie-rock soundscapes that are deeply dissimilar to both producers’ discographies. Self-described as shy, Lunice is anything but when he takes the stage with his handy MPD32. Bringing unmatched panache and enthusiasm, a Lunice show is equal parts trap hip hop, what New Yorker writer Sasha Frere-Jones calls “lazer bass,” and dance performance. I was lucky enough to see Lunice at the Los Angeles Mad Decent Block Party and he easily beat out the more established Major Lazer, Dillon Francis and Nadastrom for best set of the day. Whether he’s teaching the crowd how to cook, or dropping the latest LuckyMe sounds, Lunice always appears to be having fun, and is one of the few artists out there that genuinely likes to perform day in and day out.
In November at the esteemed Boiler Room, Rustie ended his set with a track credited to Lunice and HudMo that set the interwebz on fire. The track has yet to attain a release date, but if it is any indication of how 2012 will go, Lunice is in for a wildly successful year. If he maintains his indelible cool, and flair, Lunice will continue to tear down barriers and reach new levels of stardom in the earth’s final year.